Archive for September, 2008.

Do This Now – The Anatomy of Happiness – Part I

Written by Philip Walter on Sep 29 at 5:15 pm.

Do This Now - The Anatomy of Happines - an audio series from brickhousebodymind.com

Photo borrowed from The Doc Whisperer

Editor’s Note – The audio quality on this recording leaves a bit to be desired. We recorded it with a simple voice recorder, and as a consequence the mp3 compression is a bit distracting. It’s not that bad if you listen through external PC speakers or something similar, but for those listening through earbuds or headphones, I apologize. Being a production guy, I should have planned ahead a bit more, but rest assured that future installments will sound better.

I mentioned a while back there was some exciting new content coming toward the end of summer. Well, I am proud to present a new series of audio recordings called Do This Now. At the bottom of this post is the first installment in a series of conversations between my longtime friend and yoga teacher Matt Krepps and I about the nature of happiness. In my experience contentment, happiness, and equanimity are all synonymous with the experience of enlightenment. When we talk about enlightenment, however, the conversation tends to get bogged down in concepts like nonduality, the True Self, and Maya, none of which has any real context in Western society. This usually leads to confusion and frustration, ultimately turning people off to the idea of enlightenment altogether.

Still, I believe some understanding or felt-connection with these concepts is necessary for true happiness to be embodied. In my continuing effort to bring a new vocabulary to enlightenment and to find correlations to Eastern concepts within Western constructs, I have initiated this series of dialogues with my friend and teacher.

What can we learn about happiness and the human predicament from the Biblical story of Adam and Eve, their temptation and eventual ejection from the Garden of Eden? Are there modern teachings we are already familiar with in the Western world that echo more ancient teachings from the East? Can we hope to transcend the endless coulda-shoulda-woulda game without giving up the passionate pursuit of work, family, and fun we love so much in this life?

For the answers to these questions and a host of others, hit play below or click here to download to your computer. Part I runs about an hour in length, so get comfy. As always, your comments are encouraged. And if you like what you hear, don’t forget to subscribe to the blog either by rss or e-mail, so you won’t miss the next installment of this informative audio series.

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My Mantra for Completely Balanced Personal Development

Written by Philip Walter on Sep 22 at 8:12 pm.

Photo courtesy of *Paysimaginaire*

Here is my mantra for personal development – Let your intuition guide you through the various universal stages of development that progress from the simpler to the more complex based upon conditions of individual circumstances. I know … I know … It’s way too long to be a mantra, but stick with me here and you won’t be disappointed.

This statement reflects the findings of many developmental psychologists. It reflects the integral theory of Ken Wilber and others. It is also a reflection of the first five of the 10 principles or rules of Scott Sonnon’s Intu-Flow system of pain-free movement. That so many have come to this illumination in such a variety of fields gives testament to its truth.

In the interest of gaining a better understanding, let’s break it down to its constituent parts.

  1. Let your intuition guide youEach of our bodies knows what it needs to be healthy; indeed, only the sickest of us mentally does not know the voice of our conscience; and nary can a few of us deny the existence of some Mysterious Other watching our thoughts and feelings as we pace around this anxious Earth. Learn to listen to and honor your intuition. Trust your gut. We all know the folly of second-guessing ourselves. This is the genetic residue of generations of intuition guiding us properly into our uncertain futures.
  2. Through the various universal stages of developmentIt is proven, physically, psychologically, and spiritually, that development happens in stages or waves, and that no one skips a stage along the way. Think about it. You must learn to support your own head as a baby before you can crawl, before you can walk, before you can run. You must learn the difference between your own body and those around you before you can conceptualize other things, before you can associate words with them, before you can make sentences of those words.
  3. That progress from the simpler to the more complexThe stages discussed previously are specific and incremental. They deal with the simplest skills first before advancing to the more complex. This is evident in any training, be it athletic, academic, or mystical.
  4. Based upon conditions of individual circumstancesThis is the nurture part of the “nature v. nurture” equation. And we all know it’s not really “nature v. nurture” but “nature + nurture,” so while nature represents intuition, nurture represents individual circumstances. We each have our own battles to fight, our own advantages and disadvantages to live with. These will help determine how our development progresses. This is also the part that reminds us not to impose some arbitrary standard on our practice that may be beyond our bodymind’s capacity.

So let’s put it together one more time – Let your intuition guide you through the various universal stages of development from the simpler to the more complex based upon conditions of individual circumstances.

Make sense? It might be helpful now to look at a few variations on these universal stages of development.

Read the rest of this entry »

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